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Summary for 611 Western AVE / Parcel ID 7666202575 / Inv #

Historic Name: 611 Western Avenue Common Name: 611 Western Avenue
Style: Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1910
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The building was designed in 1910. It is a utilitarian building of a design similar to its neighbor, the Polson Building. Not surprisingly, it too was designed as a warehouse building. While a simple utilitarian building, it has much in common with other more ornate warehouse buildings erected in the same period. It stands out somewhat because of its original multi-light windows above the storefront level, which are definitely original. These impart a pleasing rhythm, especially on the Western Avenue façade. The building is significant because it dates from the period of economic and industrial growth as well as the expansion of the original heart of Seattle along the former tideflats. Like its neighbor, the Polson Building, its construction is in reinforced concrete, indicating a shift in construction knowledge and techniques, since many warehouse buildings from just a few years before still had brick exterior walls and heavy timber interiors. There does not seem to be an architect of record, but given the similarity with the Polson Building and the fact that it was also designed in 1910, it is very possible that it too was designed by Saunders and Lawton, a notable Seattle architecture firm. ( For further information on Saunders and Lawton, please see the context statement and the statement of significance for Field no. 1)
611- 619 Western Avenue has three elevations, which are now visible from the street: two, on Western Avenue and Alaskan Way, were meant to be facades. A third, south elevation on Yesler Way was originally designed to face an alley, and now looks down on a surface parking lot. The building footprint is 100’ x 134’, with the longer dimension facing north and south. The building is six stories, with, like its neighbor, the Polson Building, reinforced concrete walls. It has a partial basement and concrete foundation walls. The Western Avenue and Alaskan Way elevations have belt-courses just above the first story and just below the sixth story. Otherwise the building exterior is unadorned. The Western Avenue façade, which faces east, is divided into five bays, separated by piers. At the ground level, it has wood framed storefronts with multi-light transom windows in the third and fourth bays (counting from the south). The three central bays of levels two to five have a horizontal row of four pivoting windows (three over three) in wooden frames, topped by horizontally pivoting transom windows (three lights). The single bays to each side of the three central bays each consist of a row of three windows, also with pivoting transom windows overhead. The top sixth level has the same standard multi-light window, but no transoms. The whole is surmounted by a flat cornice in concrete, surmounted by additional parapet wall in concrete, which looks as though it was added later. The west elevation on Alaskan Way more or less mirrors the Western Avenue elevation, except that the ground level has a loading dock platform and a hodge-podge of doorways, fenestration and garage doors. The former alleyway elevation on Yesler is wider and has no belt-courses. At the second level, it has 14 of the standard window, but no transom windows. The next three floors have 8 of the standard windows with transom windows. There is a wide expanse of wall to each side of the windows (in the horizontal direction). The top level of windows consists of the standard three over three windows, with no transoms.

Detail for 611 Western AVE / Parcel ID 7666202575 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
King County Tax Assessor Rolls (1892-1910), Washington State Archives
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.

Photo collection for 611 Western AVE / Parcel ID 7666202575 / Inv #

Photo taken Nov 27, 2004
App v2.0.1.0